Kargil is one such destination that serves as the perfect vacation spot for those who love the mountainous beauty of the Himalayas and are into activities such as trekking and mountaineering. As a district of Ladakh, Kargil has some of the finest tourist attractions which make thousands throng to this place each year.
Kargil is located at equal distances from Srinagar, Leh, Zanskar, etc. which is about 200km. In ancient times, the region was famous for being the culminating point for traders from Central Asia, China, and other parts of the world. Later in the year 1994, Kargil was one of the major centers of the war with Pakistan where the Indian army successfully flushed out the intruders from the mountains. So besides nature, there is a significant historic attraction for this place.
Things to Do and Major Attractions:
Since the region was open for tourists in 1974, there has been a steady rise in footfall. The tourists have some specific attractions in this region and one of the most important ones is places like Suru Valley, Drass, and Shargole. The scenic view of the majestic mountains from such regions is sure to leave you spellbound. As a tourist, one of the first things to do here is head to the Tiger Hills. Experience the fascinating Sunrise and hear the tales of bravery of the Indian soldiers who fought here under extreme weather conditions to reclaim their territory from the intruders.
Another great attraction of this region is the Chadar Trek on the frozen river Chadar and for this, you must visit during January and February. Some monasteries in this region are very famous and they include the likes of Phuktal Monastery and Mulbekh Monastery. Zanskar Valley poses for some of the most scenic landscapes in the region and the Kargil War Memorial is the place where you can relive the moments of the impossible mission which was successfully undertaken by the Indian army in this region.
Tourists can indulge in several adventure sports such as skiing and snow rafting besides the usual trekking that takes place in these mountains.
People and Culture:
Many people in Kargil are of Tibetan descent and some others are of Dard descent. While a majority of the population are followers of Islam and belong to the Shia group of Muslims, there are also Buddhists and people of Tibetan origin. The people have a good understanding of Hindi in this region. The architecture in the region is a blend of Iranian and Tibetan styles which show the impact of the Islamic invasions.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
Some of the best places to grab a tasty bite in Kargil are Zomsa Coffee House, Parsa’s, Magpie Café, and Café-de-Riverside. For shopping, you can pick some ornaments, handicrafts, and the famous Pashmina Shawl from the Kargil market.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit this region is during the summer months since the temperatures plunge to unbearable lows during winter. Try to plan your trip between May and September.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
There are some luxury hotels such as Hotel Zozila Residency, Kargil Heights, and The Kargil. For a more economical stay, you can try out home-stay in the locality and some cheaper hotels such as Hotel International Residency.
HOW TO REACH KARGIL
AIR – The closest International Airport is Srinagar International Airport, approximately a five-hour drive from Kargil. This air terminal is associated with the other significant urban areas like Jammu, New Delhi, Mumbai, Leh, Amritsar and Bangalore.
RAIL – The closest Railway is Jammu Railway Station, generally a good 540 kms from Kargil. It is connected with Jammu and Kashmir’s significant urban places and communities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Puri and Ahmedabad.
ROAD – Kargil is well connected with different significant urban communities of Jammu and Kashmir. Kargil is 204 km from Srinagar, 234 Km, from Leh, 258 km from Anantnag, 282 Km from Kokernag, 296 Km from Pahalgam 494 km from Jammu,